Know Your Roots – Black Women’s History and Voices – how to get involved

Thursday 22 July 2021

Add your voice to history! Tell us your hair story and shape our exhibition. We’re looking for people to take part in our project.

We need you to add your voice to history!

Know Your Roots is a project run by Snapping the Stiletto: Campaigning for Equality to preserve the history of Black Women in Essex. Over the last 4 months we have been speaking to women across the county about their hair stories. We want to record these stories through oral history interviews and create an exhibition. We want to hear your hair story!

It’s vital that these stories are preserved, if they are left undocumented they are at risk of being ignored and lost. The interviews we conduct will be submitted to the Essex Record Office. Not only can your stories be used as evidence for advocacy and support for Black women in the present, they can also be used by historians and researchers of the future who use these records to inform their work.

It’s important that we collect these stories and that your voice has a presence in the historical record. Tell us your story and help preserve the history of Black women in this county!

Snapping the Stiletto: Campaigning for Equality is a National Lottery Heritage Fund project that aims to find and celebrate the stories of women across Essex. STS is collecting the stories of underrepresented women in the county so we can challenge the Essex Girl stereotype and showcase the real women of Essex. We’re partnering with Josephine Melville, founder of the South Essex African Caribbean Association (SEACA), Elizabeth Alake-Akinyemi from the Boaz Project in Colchester, and Fadz Mudyanadzo from the Shona Community Organisation in Basildon. The women leading this project are dedicated to researching the history of Afro hair in the county and finding the stories of local women.

Come along to our next online meeting to find out how you can take part. We’re looking for people to share their story in an interview, and for women to become researchers and interviewers and help shape our exhibition (to be held in Southend in October to celebrate Black History Month)!

Oral history training will take place on Friday 27 or Saturday 28 July , join our meeting on 22 July or get in touch with us at to sign up.

We will send the Zoom meeting invite out the day before the event so please check your inbox.

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